Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 102.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 1,009,514 shares of the airline’s stock after buying an additional 510,091 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $62,731,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of LUV. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,498,787 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,069,695,000 after buying an additional 286,456 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,880,703,000 after buying an additional 34,162,752 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,480,558 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,262,308,000 after buying an additional 353,960 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 39.0% in the first quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 9,401,341 shares of the airline’s stock worth $505,416,000 after buying an additional 2,638,743 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 80.3% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 7,809,175 shares of the airline’s stock worth $419,796,000 after buying an additional 3,477,912 shares during the last quarter. 80.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) opened at 54.01 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $59.77 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.15. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12-month low of $36.05 and a 12-month high of $64.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.33 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.56 and a beta of 1.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.19 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.93%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of analysts recently commented on LUV shares. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.21 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.78.

In related news, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 51,000 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.06, for a total transaction of $2,910,060.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 556,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $31,771,464.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,640,548. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $6,923,568. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company provides point-to-point service. The Company offers ancillary service offerings, such as Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In and transportation of pets and unaccompanied minors, in accordance with Southwest’s respective policies.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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